The most peaceful time of day for me is the wee morning hours when the house is blanketed in a quiet slumber. The soft sunlight begins to stretch itself across the room and the birds chirp happily outside my window. I make a fresh cup of coffee and retreat to my spot at the kitchen table with Bible in hand. It's my favorite time to pray, study and spend time with God. 

For several years (20 to be exact) I began journaling. I read a certain chapter from the Bible and then write out the parts that stand out most to me and usually look up commentaries on those verses. This helps me to dig deep into the scriptures and learn more about what they really mean. I also write special prayers and anything that is pressing on my heart. Somehow when the ink flows from my pen and across the page, my worries and stress flow out with it. It's my way of handing all those concerns over to God. 

Everything is put in perspective for me when it's on paper. Joys feel greater and burdens feel lighter. When I am finished, I give thanks.

Another thing I like to do is make a list of five things I am grateful for each day — little things, i.e. the leaves changing colors, my friend’s gluten-free pumpkin muffins, a new book, no laundry to do! … and the laughter of my four grandchildren. 

In my view, prayer-journaling serves as a great reminder of all the ways God works in our lives. It's a creative way to express thoughts and feelings to God. After all, isn't that what the psalms were to David as he wrote them?

I love going back through my journals and seeing how God allowed things to play out. He really did not need my help! My journals hold the contents of my heart — the memories I don't want to forget and some that I do — and is  a tangible way for me to connect with God to keep my spiritual life alive.

Spilling my heart through the ink of my pen is my favorite way to savor all the beauty in a fallen world (God bless this mess!) and reminds me that His mercies truly are new every day. (Lam. 3:23) The pen is mighty. So, I journal!

 

Kathleen Chamis

Ashland

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